Take a relaxing trip to Shonai, Yamagata Prefecture. Experience the bottomless power by touching the rich food culture and history-Travel Watch

Right next to “Tsukasaya Ryokan” is “Front Yu”.Local people are relaxing from early morning

I participated in the “Air & Rail Solo Trip Media Tour” sponsored by the Shonai Airport Utilization Promotion Council in Yamagata Prefecture. On the first day (previous article), we visited Dewa Sanzan Shrine, tasted local sake from Yamagata, and were healed at Jellyfish Dream Museum, which boasts the largest number of jellyfish exhibits in the world.

On the second day, we had a pleasant morning at “Tsukasaya Ryokan” in Yutagawa Onsen. Last night, she was recommended by the proprietress, “The public hot spring right next door, front bath is also refreshing from the morning.” She goes with the proprietress to get the lock unlocked. Some of the locals are already enjoying their morning baths. “Good morning!” Genuine natural free-flowing. It’s a great relief from the morning.

Yutagawa Onsen is said to have opened 1,300 years ago, in the 5th year of Wado (712), and was also a hot spring resort for the Shonai feudal lord.

“Natural free-flowing” hot water boasting one of the best new hot water injection rates in Japan.No water, no heating, no circulation

After refreshing myself in the bath, I returned to Tsukasaya Ryokan and had breakfast. She takes in the blessings of local ingredients in her body from the morning, and she is full of energy. She also appreciates the thoughtfulness of the herbal teas and coffees in the hallway.

Before leaving, I stopped by the nearby “Kyubei Ryokan”. The proprietress of Kyubei Ryokan is said to have been a student of Shuhei Fujisawa, a writer from Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture, who often visited her.

Breakfast at Tsukasaya Ryokan.Gentle, warm and heartfelt dishes that will penetrate your body

The rice-producing Shonai’s representative “Tsuyahime” was born over 10 years ago and is now a brand of rice that Japan is proud of.

Herbal tea and coffee are gently placed on the 2nd floor of Tsukasaya Ryokan, giving you a casual sense of consideration.

“Kyubei Ryokan” in Yutagawa Onsen.An inn that boasts free-flowing hot spring water and homemade cuisine

The name “Kyubei Ryokan” also appears in an essay by Shuhei Fujisawa, a writer from Tsuruoka City.

A space where you can relax just by looking at the garden.Nishikigoi were swimming energetically

On the second day of the tour, we first went to Shonai Shrine. It is enshrined in the place where the Honmaru Palace of the castle called “Tsurugaoka Castle” used to be. In the past, the Shonai Domain was ruled by the Sakai family for 250 years. Four successive lords of the domain, the 1st generation Sakai Tadatsugu, the 2nd generation Sakai Ietsugu, the 3rd generation Sakai Tadakatsu, and the 9th generation Sakai Tadanori, are enshrined as deities at Shonai Shrine.

The first thing that catches your eye is the flower wash. At this time of year, it was filled with hydrangea flowers. A chozubachi is a place where you wash and purify your hands when visiting the gods, but due to the corona crisis, many worshipers share the ladle. Therefore, it has the meaning of “cleansing your heart by looking at beautiful flowers” so that you can visit the shrine with more peace of mind. There is no doubt that it will look great on SNS. Many people were taking pictures with cameras and smartphones.

The day of the interview was just Tanabata, and it was very gorgeous at the “Enmusubi Tanabata Festival”

Shonai Shrine, which is located where the Honmaru Palace of the castle called “Tsurugaoka Castle” used to be.

Four people, including the first feudal lord of Shonai, Tadatsugu Sakai, are enshrined as deities.

The flower wash basin filled with hydrangea flowers is splendid. It is also popular as a SNS spot

A bright and energetic friend joined us on this tour. They are the two “ANA SHONAI BLUE Ambassadors” who have moved to Shonai in Yamagata Prefecture and continue to work as flight attendants for ANA while pioneering and spreading the goodness of Shonai (Sakata City). Five people are active as “ANA SHONAI BLUE Ambassadors”. Be sure to check out the official website, which is actively posting information on a daily basis.

The day I visited was Tanabata, and Shonai Shrine was also decorated with Tanabata decorations. The two BLUE Ambassadors also looked very happy with the strips of paper they wrote their wishes on.

The two ANA SHONAI BLUE Ambassadors who continue to explore and spread the goodness of Shonai join together

Paper-cut Goshuin issued only during the Enmusubi Tanabata Festival (July 1st to August 7th) ~Milky Way~

Kirie Goshuin ~The Milky Way~ comes with a dedicated Milky Way clear file

“Hydrangea water fortune slip” that can be enjoyed from mid-June to late July.feel the breeze of summer

Next, we headed to “Tsuruoka Food Culture Market FOODEVER” in front of Tsuruoka Station. This is Tsuruoka’s food culture information dissemination base, which was the first in Japan to be certified as a “UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy”. In addition to the specialty stores where you can experience the food of “Tsuruoka, UNESCO Creative City of Food Culture” and restaurants in the food court “Tsuruoka Bar”, there is also the “Tsuruoka Ekimae Marche” where you can find carefully selected seasonal ingredients and souvenirs. called popular.

“Tsuruoka Food Culture Market FOODEVER” in front of Tsuruoka Station

“Tsuruoka Ekimae Marche” with carefully selected ingredients and souvenirs is also popular

There are also restaurants in the food court “Tsuruoka Bar”

Next is “Fruit Shop Aomoriya”. Aomoriya in Yamagata Prefecture? I thought it strange, but it seems that the first president brought apples from Aomori Prefecture to Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture. Currently, the 3rd generation president himself visits the production area and offers carefully selected fruits, which are very popular with the locals. There is also a “fruit cafe”, so there is no option not to stop by (laughs).

“Fruit Shop Aomoriya” with a wide selection of carefully selected fruits

Shonai melons and cherries from Yamagata Prefecture are just in season, and the sweet scent fills the air in the store.

A specialty fruit juice made with seasonal fruits. If you have this set with a fruit tart full of seasonal flavors, you will definitely feel happy at once. Moreover, it is super photogenic and looks so good on social media that it would be a waste to eat it. Watching, shooting, transmitting, eating, drinking, it was a luxurious time to enjoy many stages. The two BLUE Ambassadors are also in high spirits.

Fruit juice has a different charm than just eating fruit. Please try it!

Now, which one would you like?A fruit tart that will tempt you to the point of hesitation

The café space inside the store is calm with white as the base color. Looking back on one solo trip and working out the next action ……

This is it! Just looking at the tarts topped with fruit makes me feel happy.Enjoy slowly in the cafe space

The two BLUE Ambassadors also took pictures first. Sending information on SNS is also an important mission. Of course eating deliciously is also a duty (laughs)

Preserving the decisive moment as it is.It seems to be persistent, but this is also an important mission.

Next, head to Chikeiken, where you can experience the lifestyle and food culture of Shonai. Said to be the forerunner of farmhouse guesthouse restaurants in Shonai, it serves simple seasonings that make the most of the quality of the ingredients, mainly home-grown vegetables, locally harvested ingredients, and rice. can taste

“Chikoken” where you can experience the life and food culture of Shonai

A Japanese-style room where you can realistically imagine life in old-fashioned Shonai

Home-grown vegetables, locally-grown seasonal ingredients, and mainly rice, “1 soup, 3 dishes and preserved foods that connect life”

The ultimate detox food with zero additives.Rejuvenate your body and mind

Migaki herring was a valuable source of protein as a preserved food when refrigeration technology was underdeveloped.

Tsuyahime with simple but exquisitely salted perilla seeds on top.she was delicious and understood

Two BLUE Ambassadors also enjoy “1 soup, 3 dishes and preserved food that connects life”

One of the attractions is that you can listen to the warm story of the proprietress, Ms. Chonanmitsu. The sight of the cat relaxing by the window was even more soothing.

The hostess, Hikaru Chonan.I was healed by her gentle way of speaking and her smile

The cool looking cats are also playing a role in the healing of visitors.

It is possible to stay overnight, and it is closed in winter from December to February.It is said that there is a lot of snow in winter in Shonai.

I bought some dried persimmons as a souvenir for myself.I am savoring it while writing this manuscript

Commemorative photo with two BLUE Ambassadors.I’m looking at your heartfelt smile

Our next stop was Sanchoku Aguri, which offers a wide variety of ingredients such as freshly picked vegetables and seasonal fruits. It is said that it is sold in a system that allows you to know the name of the producer and the cultivation history. In addition to vegetables and fruits, fresh flowers, rice, side dishes and pickles are lined up, and it’s fun just to look at them. If you look closely, you’ll see ice cream in the hands of the two BLUE Ambassadors! Just enjoying Shonai.

“Sanchoku Aguri” sells a wide variety of ingredients such as freshly picked vegetables and seasonal fruits.

Work and life are bright and fun.I’ve come to feel that a trip to Shonai will make people’s hearts positive.

Just looking at fresh vegetables, fresh flowers, rice, side dishes and pickles makes me happy.

Next, head to “Suzuki Farm” where you can enjoy picking blueberries and all-you-can-eat. Located in the town of Haguro, surrounded by the three mountains of Dewa, which is rich in nature, about 10,000 blueberries of various varieties grow abundantly on the vast site. Moreover, I was surprised to eat it. It’s sweet and full-bodied, and without flattery, it’s a super-yummy blueberry. The rich blueberry juice also soaked into my body.

Luxurious time to pick ripe blueberries and eat them right away

There are multiple varieties of blueberries, so it’s fun to compare them.

Approximately 10,000 blueberries grow abundantly on the vast grounds

“Suzuki Farm” has the largest blueberry field in Japan as a private farm.

Surrounded by the three mountains of Dewa, the location is rich in nature.I take a deep breath unintentionally

You can also buy blueberries for souvenirs.Delicious enough to eat on the move

Blueberry juice with a dense flavor that exceeds your imagination.Even more special after walking in the park

By the way, what you should not forget in Shonai is “Matsugaoka Reclamation Ground”. After the Meiji Restoration, 3,000 feudal retainers of the former Shonai clan cleared the land, created a mulberry field, and built 10 large silkworm rooms. After that, a silk mill and a silk fabric factory were established in Tsuruoka, making a great contribution to the improvement of textile culture in Shonai, or rather, in Japan.

Silk Mirai Pavilion at Matsugaoka Reclamation Ground, the foundation of textile culture

Renovated in 2022 as a facility where you can enjoy learning about the history and culture of the silk industry

You can learn in detail about the processes from sericulture to cocoon production and silk production.

Extensive display and sales of fashionable silk products

You can also experience silk weaving on a seasoned loom

If the silkworm industry disappears, the mulberry field will become unnecessary. The grapes were planted and cultivated in the mulberry field, and now Matsugaoka is producing wine. From swords to hoes, from hoes to grapes.

In 2020, “Pino Collina Garden & Winery Matsugaoka” will be created by “Elsan Winery Matsugaoka”. We created a vineyard in 2017 and started brewing and selling our first wine in 2020. And this “Elsan Winery Matsugaoka”, “Tsuruoka Silk”, and “ANA SHONAI BLUE Ambassador” are working together to create the “Matsugaoka Wine Project”, which will create a new page in history. there is The name of the wine is “VestitoCielo”.

Pino Collina Garden & Winery Matsugaoka

It is a spot where you can enjoy a sense of openness in an outstanding location.

Matsugaoka is attracting attention as a place of wine production

The land is also suitable for grape cultivation and has high potential for wine production.

“Matsugaoka Wine Project” from Yamagata / Shonai is underway

“VestitoCielo” looks stylish

This scarf is also made of silk haggis and tied by hand by the BLUE Ambassadors.

For dinner, we ate at Shonai Zakko, a Japanese restaurant that serves fresh seasonal fish and vegetables caught in our local Shonai beach. The Omakase course is like a seasonal gift from the sea and mountains. At that time of year, you will be able to taste the various delicacies that can only be tasted in Shonai and make you smile.

Shonai Zakko, a Japanese restaurant that uses seasonal fish and vegetables caught locally in Shonai

Using seasonal ingredients, they serve special dishes that can only be eaten here.

Fried food is also elegant and easy to eat.A peaceful time passed while talking slowly on the course

Shonai cuisine is not only delicious with fish and vegetables, but also with meat

Iwagaki oysters are in season now.The nature that fishermen collect by free diving is different

For dessert, Shonai melon and Yamagata cherries.Enjoy local gourmet food

With my stomach full, I stayed at SUIDEN TERRASSE, a hotel that floats on the rice paddies. I would like to tell you about it because it is a very attractive “food and lodging facility”, but I will leave the details to the next time. Even so, the charm of Shonai is formidable. The 2nd day of great satisfaction ended with an indescribable impression and healing.

The lodging for this day is Suiden Terrace, which floats on the rice field.See you next time

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